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How does the size of company you work at impact your ability to develop as a product manager?

Alexa Maturana-Lowe
Alexa Maturana-Lowe
Fivetran Senior Director of Product Management, Core ExperienceJuly 14

Based on my experience working at both smaller startups (25-50 people) and larger companies (1000+) as a product manager, there is merrit to both. I really appreciated starting my product career at a larger company because there was established process / best practices and resources like design and dedicated engineering teams and other practitioners to learn from. This allowed for me to understand the mindset and process of doing product at scale which I then was able to take with me when I moved into working at startups, helping to evolve the startup chaos to create industry standard processes for product, design, engineering and stakeholders. However, the pace at the larger companies I've worked at has been slower and therefore it takes a while to get the cycles in and cycles are what allow you to refine your product process and sense. Working at a startup on the other hand offers lots of cycles, which really allows for quick practice, lots of mistakes, and results in acceleration in learning. I don't think you can go wrong either way but it definitely depends on the amount of structure vs. chaos that you're interested in being a part of as you're developing.

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